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Chapter 287

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Markandeya said, ‘Beholding both the brothers Rama and Lakshmanaprostrate on the ground, the son of Ravana tied them in a net-work ofthose arrows of his which he had obtained as boons. And tied by Indrajiton the field of battle by means of that arrowy net, those heroic tigersamong men resembled a couple of hawks immured in a cage. And beholdingthose heroes prostrate on the ground pierced with hundreds of arrows,Sugriva with all the monkeys stood surrounding them on all sides. And theking of the monkeys stood there, accompanied by Sushena and Mainda andDwivida, and Kumuda and Angada and Hanuman and Nila and Tara and Nala.And Vibhishana, having achieved success in another part of the field,soon arrived at that spot, and roused those heroes from insensibility,awakening them by means of the weapon called, Prajna.[101] Then Sugrivasoon extracted the arrows from their bodies. And by means of that mostefficacious medicine called the Visalya[102], applied with celestialmantras, those human heroes regained their consciousness. And the arrowhaving been extracted from their bodies, those mighty warriors in amoment rose from their recumbent posture, their pains and fatiguethoroughly alleviated. And beholding Rama the descendant of Ikshwaku’srace, quite at his ease, Vibhishana, O son of Pritha, joining his hands;told him these words, ‘O chastiser of foes, at the command of the king ofthe Guhyakas, a Guhyaka hath come from the White mountains, bringing withhim his water![103] O great king, this water is a present to thee fromKuvera, so that all creatures that are invisible may, O chastiser offoes, become visible to thee! This water laved over the eyes will makeevery invisible creature visible to thee, as also to any other person towhom thou mayst give it!’–Saying–So be it,–Rama took that sacredwater, and sanctified his own eyes therewith. And the high-mindedLakshmana also did the same. And Sugriva and Jambuvan, and Hanuman andAngada, and Mainda and Dwivida, and Nila and many other foremost of themonkeys, laved their eyes with that water. And thereupon it exactlyhappened as Vibhishana had said, for, O Yudhishthira, soon did the eyesof all these became capable of beholding things that could not be seen bythe unassisted eye!

“Meanwhile, Indrajit, after the success he had won, went to his father.And having informed him of the feats he had achieved, he speedilyreturned to the field of battle and placed himself at the van of hisarmy. The son of Sumitra then, under Vibhishana’s guidance, rushedtowards that wrathful son of Ravana coming back, from desire of battle,to lead the attack. And Lakshmana, excited to fury and receiving a hintfrom Vibhishana, and desiring to slay Indrajit who had not completed hisdaily sacrifice, smote with his arrows that warrior burning to achievesuccess. And desirous of vanquishing each other, the encounter that tookplace between them was exceedingly wonderful like that (in days of yore)between the Lord of celestials and Prahrada. And Indrajit pierced the sonof Sumitra with arrows penetrating into his very vitals. And the son ofSumitra also pierced Ravana’s son with arrows of fiery energy. Andpierced with Lakshmana’s arrows, the son of Ravana became senseless withwrath. And he shot at Lakshmana eight shafts fierce as venomous snakes.Listen now, O Yudhishthira, as I tell thee how the heroic son of Sumitrathen took his adversary’s life by means of three winged arrows possessedof the energy and effulgence of fire! With one of these, he severed fromIndrajit’s body that arm of his enemy which had grasped the bow. With thesecond he caused that other arm which had held the arrows, to drop downon the ground. With the third that was bright and possessed of thekeenest edge, he cut off his head decked with a beautiful nose and brightwith ear-rings. And shorn of arms and head, the trunk became fearful tobehold. And having slain the foe thus, that foremost of mighty men thenslew with his arrows the charioteer of his adversary. And the horses thendragged away the empty chariot into the city. And Ravana then beheld thatcar without his son on it. And hearing that his son had been slain,Ravana suffered his heart to be overpowered with grief. And under theinfluence of extreme grief and affliction, the king of the Rakshasassuddenly cherished the desire of killing the princess of Mithila. Andseizing a sword, the wicked Rakshasa hastily ran towards that ladystaying within the Asoka wood longing to behold her lord. Then Avindhyabeholding that sinful purpose of the wicked wretch, appeased his fury.Listen, O Yudhishthira, to the reasons urged by Avindhya! That wiseRakshasa said, ‘Placed as thou art on the blazing throne of an empire, itbehoveth thee not to slay a woman! Besides, this woman is already slain,considering that she is a captive in thy power! I think, she would not beslain if only her body were destroyed. Slay thou her husband! He beingslain, she will be slain too! Indeed, not even he of an hundredsacrifices (Indra) is thy equal in prowess! The gods with Indra at theirhead, had repeatedly been affrighted by thee in battle!’ With these andmany other words of the same import, Avindhya succeeded in appeasingRavana. And the latter did, indeed, listen to his counsellor’s speech.And that wanderer of the night, then, resolved to give battle himselfsheathed his sword, and issued orders for preparing his chariot.'”

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